Spiced pumpkin quinoa salad, maple roasted nuts and balsamic mustard dressing

Avoid contributing to the flaccid iceberg lettuce/sweating chicken breast/leaky tomato and cucumber combos creeping in condensation around the office fridge. Pumpkin is a super robust vegetable that makes it perfect for packed-lunches

Total time to make : 40 minutes Time to prep : 10 minutes

Time to bake : ~ 30 minutes

Time to chill : 40 minutes

Servings : 4 (as a main)


1/2 small pumpkin, sliced into 1/2 inch wedges (skin on)

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)


30g pecans

30g pumpkin seeds

30g pistachios

2 tbsp maple syrup


3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tsp wholegrain mustard

Cooked quinoa

3 large handfuls of mixed salad (spinach, rocket, watercress or pea shoots work well)

Parsley and dill

Wedge of lemon


  1. Preheat a fan oven to 220C

  2. Place pumpkin wedges on a lined baking tray with 2tbsp olive oil, cinnamon, chilli and a good pinch of sea salt. Roast in the oven, turning half way through, for about 25 - 30 minutes until they start the caramelise and are soft when pricked with a fork

  3. Mix the nuts and seeds together and spread onto a seperate lined baking tray and drizzle over the maple syrup and a good pinch of sea salt. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes, stirring half way through to make sure the nuts are evenly toasted

  4. To assemble the salad, mix the salad and quinoa as a base, then top with the pumpkin wedges, sprinkle over the roasted maple nuts and seed mix

  5. For the dressing, combine olive oil, balsamic and mustard together in a small jar and shake until mixed, pour over the salad just before serving and top with fresh herbs such as parsley and dill and a squeeze of lemon

Nutritional Information

470 calories

10g protein, 47g carbs, 31g fat

Good to know:

  • Can be interchanged with other robust vegetables such as butternut squash, red onions and other large nuts such as walnuts

  • My pet hate when it comes to preparing salads in advance is opening a lunch box to a soggy salad. The key to avoiding this is in choosing the right, robust ingredients and how you layer and store them together. You can either store things separately, or work on layering your lunchbox: Dressing at the bottom, robust and cooked vegetables on top (root vegetables, pumpkin, onions, eggplant, carrots), followed by any leafy greens and raw vegetables on top of that, a protein source if you have one (chicken, meat, boiled egg) and then using a folded kitchen as a final layer and placing any herbs, crunchy nuts, croutons etc.on top of this. This works great in a large jar too, which you can simply shake to mix everything together when you're ready to eat it

  • A bed of rice or quinoa often soaks up any oil from any roast vegetables you use, infuses the flavour and won't leave you with a watery-residue-salad (gross). I prefer glass and metal tupperware

  • To store for lunches, make sure everything has cooled down and pack the salad, herbs, quinoa, roasted pumpkin and nuts in an airtight container in the refrigerator with a wedge of lemon. Store the dressing separately in a small jar to pour over just before serving

  • Vegetarian, vegan


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